This post was originally featured on michaelrwear.com.
“Last week, I watched my sister, along with many college seniors, don light-blue gowns and walk off the stage into the unknown. It felt like a metaphor for all of us: If graduating is about embarking into a new phase of uncertainty, then we are graduating all the time, no matter what our age. The reason why the unknown is scary is because we feel we do not have the capabilities to meet its opaque, yet-to-be-discerned challenges. Of course we don't have them; that is why it is called the "unknown."
Driving a car for the first time is super-scary at first because you don't have "driving skills." But you do have the ability to plan and anticipate, to make quick decisions, to use your senses in a concentrated manner; you just need to be operate these "adaptive skills" (I call them that because they transcend any particular context) together in a new context, along with a basic belief and confidence in yourself. You have, in other words, the capacity (adaptive skills + belief) to learn and develop the right capabilities. While capability is about the ability to execute well in a specific situation, "capacity" is the combination of adaptive skills and right beliefs that allow you to tackle any situation. So while you may lack the relevant capabilities, you may still have the right capacity. “
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Sarah Ngu (@sarahngu) is a freelance writer and an alumni of Trinity Forum Academy and Columbia University. Based in New York, she blogs on faith and culture, and produces thought leadership for businesses.